Liars
Future Music|Autumn 2021
Dissolving the contours of rock and electronics, Danny Turner charts the making of Liars’ 10th album with Angus Andrew and Laurence Pike
Danny Turner

As founding member of Australian-American rock band Liars, Angus Andrew has constantly sought progression through experimentation. With four members having previously departed the group, recent albums TFCF (2017) and Titled with the Word Fountain (2018) were recorded and produced entirely by Andrew. However, for Liars’ 10th album, The Apple Drop, the producer/songwriter invited former live players Cameron Deyell and Laurence Pike into the fold.

Given complete freedom to experiment, Andrew focused their attention on live improvisation, directing his new band members down manifold avenues of exploration. Despite the pandemic forcing the trio to abandon progress, Andrew had enough material to complete the album, warping Deyell and Pike’s raw instrumentation with his own selection of probability-based algorithmic tools.

Angus, with the last two Liars albums being solo efforts, was it always the intention to bring other musicians back into the fold for your 10th album?

AA: “After playing with Laurence and Cameron during the Australian leg of our last few tours I’d gotten a taste of what it would be like to stand in a room with these two musicians and began to imagine the possibilities of us working together. I was already a big fan of Laurence’s solo work and knew Cameron was an amazing musician outright, so the idea of being able to connect with their incredible skills made me excited to be in an acoustic space again. Most of the previous records were made in the computer, but I wanted The Apple Drop to have a different sonic architecture.”

Laurence, at what point did you become involved in the band?

LP: “It was late 2018 that we first did some shows together. I’d already been a fan of Liars since some of their earliest releases, so they’ve been an integral part of my musical journey. Obviously, being aware of the band’s legacy and what that entails, it was exciting to be involved – initially to tour and then in the studio, but it all felt very natural.”

Did you feel a sense of serendipity?

LP: “When I knew that Angus had come back to Australia I had a strange sense that our paths would cross at some point and we’d become kindred spirits, and that became obvious as soon as we started playing together because everything just clicked. Angus approaches every album with a sense of childlike exploration and that’s very much part of my way of making music too. Daresay I’ve been influenced by his work, so it would be great if this record is the first step in a long process.”

Did you immediately have ideas about how you could contribute?

LP: “There was an element of that, but the main thing was that I didn’t want to fuck it up [laughs]. The beautiful thing is that Angus has an incredibly open and welcoming way of working – at no point did I feel I was secondary to the process, and that made things super-easy.”

In the midst of the pandemic, how did the collaboration unfold?

AA: “Initially, we were working in all sorts of directions and trying to come up with different angles, but beyond Cameron and Laurence’s instrument-playing they have a sense of awareness when it comes to audio quality and brought a lot to that. We spent time together in the studio but were ultimately separated because of lockdown for a long period. For me, a lot of the songwriting process has to do with editing and affecting sound so that I can figure out where things are going to sit. Sorting through all of their ideas and weaving those parts together was only something I could do thanks to their huge influence.”

LP: “Getting a good drum sound was the first stop for those initial sessions, then after shutdown Cameron and I were recording overdubs at home and sending files back and forth. When we were in the studio sessions together it was about feeling things through and trying to find a thread. That became more obvious once we’d started to finesse things, but so much of that has to do with Angus’s wonderful way of reframing things when left to his own devices. What was equally exciting for me was being able to feed ideas to him without knowing how they might come back.”

Where did you start pinning those ideas down?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FUTURE MUSICView All

SONIC DESTRUCTION

From overdriven signal paths to rhythmic malfunctions, there’s plenty of creativity to be found by doing things just a little bit wrong

10+ mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Feed Me

EDM producer Jon Gooch revives his cartoonish Feed Me moniker. Danny Turner finds out how the use of live instrumentation changed his production approach

10+ mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Exploring Akai MPC

Leo Maymind takes a detailed look at an iconic groovebox whose influence helped shape modern hip-hop and much more besides

8 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Liars

Dissolving the contours of rock and electronics, Danny Turner charts the making of Liars’ 10th album with Angus Andrew and Laurence Pike

10+ mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Jean-Michel Jarre

The pioneering musician who introduced generations to futuristic sounds the first time around is at it again. He joins Matt Mullen to talk experiments in VR gigging, spatial audio and more...

10 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Noise

With roots as far back as 1913, noise is the genre that’s also a state of mind

4 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

1010 Music Bitbox mk2 £549

Rob Redman finds out whether this updated sampler box of tricks contains any more surprises

3 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Erica Synths and Sonic Potions LXR-02 £499

Rob Redman braces himself for another resurrected blast from the past

6 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Modal SKULPTsynth SE £169

Modal are back with an update to their SKULPT synth. Bruce Aisher takes a listen to see if it can rustle up a big sound

3 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021

Reason Studios Reason 12 £399

Now in both DAW and plugin realms, Reason gains a sampler and refreshed Combinator. Si Truss investigates

3 mins read
Future Music
Autumn 2021
RELATED STORIES

QUEEN, 95, DERAILS ANDREW SEX PROBE

Calls off law dogs investigating claim favorite son raped Epstein slave, 17

3 mins read
Globe
November 01, 2021

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

FACED WITH A FORCE 11 FORECAST OFF CAPE HORN, ANDREW HALCROW CONSIDERS AN IMPOSSIBLE DECISION

9 mins read
Yachting World
November 2021

PRINCE ANDREW'S EPSTEIN NIGHTMARE

Sordid sex scandal & secret arms deals make rogue royal blackmail target

3 mins read
National Enquirer
October 18, 2021

Prince Andrew ON THE RUN

WHERE'S PRINCE ANDREW? AS A NEW SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWSUIT LOOMS AND ALLEGATIONS OF RACISM RESURFACE, THE DISGRACED ROYAL HAS GONE ROGUE.

3 mins read
Star
October 11, 2021

GREY'S ANATOMY

No more walks on the beach, we hope! Even for a medical soap that thrives on tears, angst and broken hearts, last season was a gut punch: The show's beloved mainstay, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), spent months in a COVIDrelated coma.

1 min read
TV Guide Magazine
September 13–26, 2021

THE EQUALIZER

As last season's top new drama returns, undercover vigilante Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) teams with the cop who once wanted to expose her. Det. Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles) asks the motorcycle-riding badass to help him catch bank robbers who killed police officers-an investigation that will lead to top levels of U.S. intelligence and politics. Showrunners Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe tell us more.

1 min read
TV Guide Magazine
September 13–26, 2021

DESPERATE ANDREW: Marry Me Fergie!

WITH HIS LEGAL WOES CLOSING IN ON HIM, THE DUKE OF YORK IS RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS FOR RESUSCITATING HIS REP.

2 mins read
Star
October 04, 2021

ARROGANT ANDREW: I'M UNTOUCHABLE!

Claims immunity from rape charges filed by Epstein’s teenage sex slave

3 mins read
Globe
October 04, 2021

DIANA'S HIDDEN STRENGTH

A new docuseries reveals an assertive, more complex People’s Princess

2 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
September 27 - October 27, 2021

FAMILY FARM TRUCK

JEREMY SCHMIDT’S 1948 CUMMINS-POWERED CHEVROLET LOADMASTER

4 mins read
Diesel World
November 2021